Two suits were filed yesterday in SDNY against various record labels:
Grant v. Warner Music Group Corp. and Atlantic Recording Corp., No. 13-cv-4449 (alleging violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act concerning failure to pay employees minimum wages and overtime compensation).
Slip-N-Slide Records Inc. v. The Island Def Jam Music Group, No. 13-cv-4450 (seeking an accounting, declaratory judgment and claiming breach of fiduciary duty relating to defendant's agreement to manufacture and distribute sound recordings of plaintiff's artists).
June 28, 2013
June 26, 2013
Sony BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, No. Case: 12-2146 (1st Cir. filed 6/25/2013) [Doc. 00116547502].
From the decision:
From the decision:
Joel Tenenbaum illegally downloaded and distributed music for several years. A group of recording companies sued Tenenbaum, and a jury awarded damages of $675,000, representing $22,500 for each of thirty songs whose copyright Tenenbaum violated. Tenenbaum appeals the award, claiming that it is so large that it violates his constitutional right to due process of law. We hold that the award did not violate Tenenbaum's right to due process, and we affirm.The two issues on appeal were: (1) what is the correct standard for evaluating the constitutionality of an award of statutory damages under the Copyright Act; and (2) did an award of $675,000 violate defendant's right to due process? On issue one, the Court held that the correct standard was that announced in St. Louis, I.M. & S.Ry. Co. v. Williams, 251 U.S. 63 (1919), that a statutory damage award violates due process only "where the penalty prescribed is so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportionate to the offense and obviously unreasonable." On issue two, the Court found that the award did not violate defendant's due process rights.
June 25, 2013
This afternoon, David Rabinowitz and I co-presented a CLE entitled "Why The Internet Distribution of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings Is Different From Everything Else In Copyright Law -or- Does The DMCA Apply To Pre-1972 Sound Recordings." Topics included a brief history of copyright in sound recordings, the scope of common law copyright protection, federal preemption of common law copyright (except for pre-1972 recordings), related claims of unfair competition, the DMCA safe-harbor, conflicting case law on whether the DMCA safe-harbor applies to pre-1972 recordings, and conflicting decisions on whether there is immunity for service providers under the Communications Decency Act. Thank you to those who attended.